Systematic review of the effectiveness of training and education for the protection of workers

Report cover

Published: January 2010

by: Robson LS, Stephenson C, Schulte P, Amick B, Chan S, Bielecky A, Wang A, Heidotting T, Irvin E, Eggerth D, Peters R, Clarke J, Cullen KL, Boldt L, Rotunda C, Grubb P

Occupational health and safety (OHS) training is a fundamental element in workplace hazard control programs. Numerous safety and health standards for hazard control contain requirements for training aimed at reducing risk factors for injury, disease or death. Combined with management responsibility, which is paramount, training is a necessary part of a comprehensive hazard control program. Improving the effectiveness of OHS training efforts and other interventions is important especially as workplaces and workforces change.

This report builds on the review published by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) in 1998. Subsequently, in 2004, the Institute for Work & Health (IWH) and NIOSH agreed to collaborate and update the original NIOSH review by conducting a systematic review of the literature published since 1996.

A joint team of IWH and NIOSH researchers have produced this report based on the systematic review of the occupational safety and health training research literature, to determine what is known about the effectiveness of training. This information should be useful to employers, workers, unions, trade associations, NGOs (non-governmental organizations), regulators and academics as they consider developing and delivering occupational safety and health training.